by Bill Nugent
The discovery of a clearly defined set of dinosaur footprints preserved in an exposed layer of dolomite near the village of Beit Zeit, west of Jerusalem in Israel poses unique problems for old earth evolutionists. The fact that the footprints are preserved in dolomite is particularly intriguing. Dolomite is carbonate rock chemically similar to limestone. Geologists say that it forms under unusual conditions on ocean bottoms or at the bottoms of hyper-salty lakes.
The dolomite was obviously soft when the dinosaur made the footprints. How or why would a dinosaur walk on an ocean or lake bottom under the extreme conditions under which dolomite is formed?
This particular layer of dolomite is in the lower strata of an immense formation of a sequence of layers of dolomite and limestone. This huge expanse of rock strata is called the Judea Group. The geological term “group” is applied to rock layers that formed over a vast, often continent wide area. Jerusalem sits atop the Judea group as does the temple mount and much of the rest of Israel. Neighboring countries also contain Judea Group rock layers.* An amazing thing about these carbonate rocks is that they were formed from the remnants of living things. Let me explain.
Limestone and dolomite are both biogenic sedimentary rock types. They are composed mostly of calcium carbonate derived from the exoskeletons of marine invertebrates such as foraminifera, bryozoa, crinoids, corals, mollusks and brachiopods. Limestone and dolomite cover vast areas of every continent in layers sometimes thousands of feet thick. Roughly ten percent of all sedimentary rock is limestone and dolomite.
The Grand Canyon in the US is cut through hundreds of feet of limestone. The white cliffs of Dover in England are chalk which is also from exoskeletons of sea creatures. Parts of Australia have sedimentary rock layers over 30,000 feet thick including much limestone. Marble is limestone that was metamorphosed by immense pressure such as occurs in tectonic plate shifting.
The biblical temple built by Solomon on the temple mount in Jerusalem was largely built with white limestone. The Garden Tomb where Jesus was interred for three days is in a limestone formation. The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt is built of limestone. All limestone and marble was once living. It is the remains of marine invertebrate skeletons. Amazing to think of it – Michaelangelo’s marble statue of David was once living marine organisms!
The conventional old earth evolutionist explanation for the vast continent wide, thousands of feet thick layers of limestone type rocks is that all of these areas were at one time at the bottom of the ocean. The exoskeletons built up on the bottom of these vast inland seas and hardened into limestone. This is the time worn “inland sea” hypothesis. The problem with this hypothesis is that we now know it’s geologically impossible for a continent to become an ocean bottom and then later become a dry continent again. Let me explain.
The continents’ bedrock is granite which is much lighter than the bedrock of the ocean floor which is basalt. Geologists maintain that the continents float higher on the liquid mantle of the inner earth. The continents are a lighter form of crust. The ocean bottoms are a heavier form of basalt crust. Therefore a continent will always be a dry landmass and the ocean floor will always remain low.
How then did all of this ocean debris become deposited on the continents and very little on the ocean beds? Why are there fossils of marine invertebrates high in the Himalayas? The answer is that the oceans swept over the continents during a time of immense global natural disaster. It was a worldwide flood which the Bible describes in the book of Genesis. Yes my friend, the vast deposits of limestone, derived from exoskeletons which originated in the oceans, are silent witnesses of the truth of the book of Genesis!
Genesis 7:11 says that during the flood “all the fountains of the great deep [were] broken up.” This is biblical language for undersea volcanoes. These volcanoes occurred on such a massive scale that they caused earthquakes that thrust forth great tsunamis that ejected vast amounts of water and ocean debris over vast areas of the continents.
Critics have wondered where all the water came from to flood the earth. The answer is obviously that the water came from the oceans. During the flood there was volcanism on a scale far beyond anything we’ve seen in recent history. Continent sweeping tsunamis did far more to flood the land than the torrents of rain from above.
The fossil record shows that the preflood earth was warm and fertile. Ocean life had proliferated far beyond the scale of anything that we see today. This accounted for the huge amount of lime that built up on the ancient ocean floors. Trillions of tons of dissolved exoskeletons were cast ashore during the flood.
It’s interesting that dinosaur bones are invariably discovered in rock layers above the layers where we find their footprints. This indicates that as the flood progressed, the tsunamis thrust lime bearing sediment ashore and dinosaurs escaped across this initial deposition of sediment. The dinosaurs and other animals were fleeing for their lives.
The dinosaurs and other animals made it to higher ground but they were eventually overwhelmed and killed by the flood. Their carcasses were covered by subsequent layers of sediment and fossilized in these upper layers.
The fact that blood cells and blood vessel remnants have been found in the center of dinosaur bones is proof they died thousands, not millions of years ago. (Search “blood in dinosaur bones” on the internet and you’ll find many scientific articles on this fact. The TV show 60 Minutes even did a segment on blood remnants in dino bones.)
Another interesting fact that old earth evolutionists find hard to explain is the fact that sediment deposits are far thicker on the continents than they are on the ocean floor. Old earth evolutionists adhere to a theory of gradualism in which they claim that geologic processes occurred gradually over millions of years at roughly the same rate they occur today, though they do concede that there were episodes of catastrophe that caused brief periods of rapid change.
If sediment beds were built up by gradual erosion, the ocean floors would have miles thick deposits and the continents would have thin deposits. The opposite is true. The only places on the ocean floor that have thick sediment are the river deltas such as the Nile, Amazon and Mississippi deltas. The rest of the ocean floor averages only about 500 feet thick of “ooze” which is a muddy soft substance composed of exoskeletons, sand, and silt.
The scarcity of sedimentary rock on the ocean floor and the thinness of its ooze is evidence that infers that the ocean floors subducted, which means thrust under the continents during the flood catastrophe. New ocean floor emerged with great volcanic fanfare and we see the evidence of this in the thousands of miles of mid ocean ridges near the middle of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. All geologists acknowledge that the mid-ocean ridges are where volcanism causes new ocean bottom to form and spread out.
Dinosaur footprints in Israel are silent witness to the truth of the Bible as a reliable historical narrative. The biblical flood catastrophe thrust vast amounts of soft lime onto the continents. Fossilized footprints of dinosaurs and many other hapless creatures fleeing from the raging torrents were preserved in the sediment. The presence of the thick layers of limestone, the footprints and the blood bearing dinosaur bones serve to disprove old earth gradualism. These facts lend much support to the young earth creationist view. The age of the earth is measured in thousands, not millions of years and evolution did not have time to happen. The creationist view is supported by the geological evidence.
We must never forget that the biblical flood was a judgement against sin. God sent the flood because “the wickedness of man was great in the earth” (Genesis 6:5). The Bible predicts a future judgement called the great tribulation. You can read about it in the book of Revelation, the last book in the Bible.
As severe as the flood was, it was mild compared to God’s ultimate judgement. God’s ultimate judgement was poured out on Jesus, the promised Messiah of Israel when He died for our sins. When Jesus suffered and died He took upon Himself the penalty of the sins of all humankind. In the Old Testament, in Isaiah 53, it was prophesied that the coming redeemer would die for our sins. Jesus fulfilled this and over 300 other predictive prophecies contained in the Old Testament. If we turn to God through Christ and ask for forgiveness of sins, we receive forgiveness and eternal life.